How to Check the Wattage of your Computer’s Power Supply

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The current pandemic has forced people to stay shut inside their households. As social interaction ceased, people sat glued to their computers and smartphones for any form of communication and entertainment. Computers at home have become best friends and secret keepers for most people. 

If you are trying to do something innovative to your computer like adding a graphics card or an SSD to enhance the device’s performance you would need to first figure out the power supply that your computer possesses. This is because any new component tends to put extra load on your power supply unit [PSU] of your computer. After adding the new component, if the power requirements exceed your PSU wattage it could overload the computer causing it to crash or burn down. This can damage other internal components of your gadget. 

If you want to upgrade your power supply for your computer it is important to know the current power consumption specifications of your computer’s PSU. Since you have already gauged your computer’s performance with the current PSU you can easily determine the power supply needed to further enhance its performance. 

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What is a PSU?

Power Supply Unit is an internal device existing in every computer. They do not supply systems with power, instead, they convert it. A power supply device converts the alternating high voltage current (AC) into direct current (DC). They also regulate the DC output voltage according to the power required for modern computing components. 

Power supply units can be divided into two categories; custom and standard. Standard power supply refers to devices that are specifically made by manufacturers to be used in gaming PCs. For instance, PSU’s made by Cooler Master, Corsair, EVGA, Antec, and Thermaltake are used for high-end gaming purposes. These PSUs are heavy and employ quality cables and sleeves. 

Custom power supplies are lighter and their bodies are generally made up of shiny aluminum as you might have noticed in Dell or HP prebuilt PCs. Manufacturers like Zebronics and Intex also make these types of power units which cost anywhere around $5 to $10. These power supplies have fewer cables and mostly come without any sleeves. 

How does a PSU Work?

As you all probably know, the power consumption of any computer is measured by Wattage or Watts (W). All the power supply units available in the market have their own maximum power capacity or load carrying capacity which is the wattage associated with them; or eg: 400W, 500W, 600W, etc.

The more the wattage, the higher the load the PSU can bear. The wattage indicates the rated power that will be supplied to your computer components. Wattage or Watt (W) is one of the most important factors for choosing the power supply because this determines whether the PSU is capable of handling your computer load comfortably.   For instance, if the components in your system require 600V, you should ideally buy a 1200V power supply unit. This is because the highest efficiency of most power supplies is pinned at 50% load. This also allows for room to expand your system with further components if needed.

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How to Check the Wattage of Your PC without Opening It?

How can you know the wattage of your current PC? Well, the easiest way would be to manually open the chassis side panel and read the wattage of the label of the PSU. However, if you have lost your screwdriver or simply don’t want to go through the hassle of opening the computer, you can choose to look it up on the website of the manufacturer.  

Once you are on the official website of the manufacturer you can search for your PC model. You will be informed about the technical specifications of your computer system. But, sometimes you won’t be able to find it out even on official websites. Brands like Dell don’t specify some of the technical specifications of their products on their website. If this is the case with your system as well, you can try getting in touch with the respective company’s customer care. They might be able to offer you wattage information about your product. 

If you are planning to replace or upgrade a PC power supply unit, it is important to have a look at the best brands in the market. Popular brands for power supplies include Corsair, Antec, EVGA, and Cooler Master. These brands make PSU for specific functions like gaming, business, personal use, etc. You can pick and choose according to your purpose. 

We recommend opting for a PSU that will offer you an 80 Plus Platinum rating. ‘80 Plus’ means that PSUs in this range will always operate at a minimum an 80% efficiency. 80 Plus power supplies range from 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze up to Titanium. With higher wattage 80 Plus devices you can experience up to 94% efficiency at 50% load. These PSUs possess great energy efficiency and can minimize power costs. 

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Many online power supply calculator tools can help you to figure out the right wattage for your PC, whether it is a gaming or a workstation one. Newegg Power Supply Calculator, Cooler Master Power Supply Calculator, and OuterVision Power Supply Calculator are some of the best online power supply calculator tools that can be found online. 

To use these PSU calculators you need to know the components that are installed on your computer. The calculator will ask you to select the right components that are installed in your computer for calculating the right wattage. Once you are done selecting, tap on the calculate button to know the approximate power consumption for your PC.  These power supply calculators are updated regularly by adding new hardware components and are accurate at predicting your PC wattage and power supply recommendation.

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